Chadian and Nigerien troops
fighting Boko Haram insurgency in
the North-East are reportedly
begging their Nigerian
counterparts to take over towns
recaptured from the sect.
Nigerian authorities had
announced that troops had
recaptured all towns occupied by
members of the terrorist group in
Adamawa and Yobe states,
remaining Borno, the last of the
three north-eastern states mostly
affected by the insurgency.
A report by The New York Times on
Friday, entitled ‘Foreign troops beg
Nigerian soldiers to occupy
recaptured towns,’ said foreign
troops had led journalists on a tour
of the liberated towns without
Nigerian troops on the ground.
Chadian authorities were reported
to be angered by “the near-total
absence of cooperation from the
Nigerians in a crucial regional
The report said Chadian soldiers
were wondering why they, and not
the Nigerians, were holding towns
like Damasak, several days after the
last Boko Haram fighter has fled or
The Chadian Foreign Minister,
Moussa Faki Mahamat, was quoted
as saying, “The Nigerian Army has
not succeeded in facing Boko
Haram. The occupation of these
towns, this is up to Nigeria. My
fondest wish is that they assume
“Our biggest wish is that the
Nigerian Army pulls itself together
— that it takes responsibility in the
towns. We are ready to disengage,
Second Lieutenant Hassan of the
Chadian Army was quoted to have
berated the Nigerian troops as
failing in their responsibilities.
He said, “We asked them (Nigerian
Army) to come, to receive this town
from us, but they have not come. It
is because they are afraid.
“We fought on the night of the
14th, and the last attack was on the
15th. We called them on the 16th
and told them to come; they didn’t
believe we were here.
“It is up to them (Nigeria) to hold
the town, not us,” said Lieutenant
Hassan, referring to the Nigerians.
“Our role is offensive. Our mission
is to chase the terrorists.”
The Director of Defence
Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris
Olukolade, however, told our
correspondent on the telephone
on Saturday that it was not true
that Nigerian troops were not
willing to take over such territories.
He said there was no town
liberated by the Nigerian troops in
the ongoing offensive against the
insurgents that was not effectively
cleared of terrorists’ presence and
was not being well patrolled.
He added that the collaborating
nations had warned against
involving the operation, stressing
that the military would not join
issues with anyone.
Olukolade said, “It is not true that
our soldiers are not willing to take
over such communities. There is no
town that our soldiers have
liberated that is not being well
secured and well patrolled at the
“We have always warned against
irresponsible comments in this
collaboration and we are not ready
to join issues with anybody.
“We will do everything to sustain